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We continue the journey through some of the clues that are taken to support the theory of the alleged death of Paul McCartney in 1966, and his subsequent replacement with a double. We have already presented some of the visual evidence that is supposedly contained in some of The Beatles’ artwork for their albums. Here we continue with some other visual evidence, and we then move on to some of the audio evidence showed in support of the theory.
Not only the artwork of Sgt. Pepper, but also the Abbey Road (1969) cover is a cornerstone for the death theory’s sustainers. The fab four are portrayed at the center of the zebra crossing of the street. It is supposed to represent a funeral procession, with Lennon representing God with his long hair and beard and wearing all white; Ringo Starr is dressed like the man officiating the service. Paul McCartney is the only one out of step, wearing a suit and walking barefoot. In some Oriental cultures the dead man is represented and buried barefoot, and The Beatles were just coming back from a trip to India when they made this cover. The last one is George Harrison, wearing work clothes, and is supposed to be the grave digger. Paul is also holding a cigarette with his right hand, although he is left-handed.
Behind this scene, there is a car whose plate states 28 IF. McCartney would have been 27 when the album came out, but he would have been in his 28th year of existence, as Indian beliefs count life from conception and not birth. The Beatles often stated their fascination with Indian beliefs. Furthermore, on the other side of the road, there is a police car which allegedly represented the police car that arrived at the accident where McCartney died.
On the cover of Magical Mystery Tour (1967), the stars that form the name of the band, if read holding the cover to a mirror, form a telephone number, or a tree depending on how you hold it. In 1969 many people called, some said it was regular people answering, some said that you could hear a funeral parlor, some said a man claiming to be Billy Shears would answer. Others said you’d get the response: “You’re getting closer.”
There are many references in the lyrics of The Beatles’ songs, spread throughout several albums. In the ‘I’m so Tired’ (1968), track of the White Album, Lennon sings something which results in seemingly random sounds. If listened to it backwards though, it is possible to hear Lennon say “Paul is dead, man: miss him, miss him, miss him!” A previous recording of the song, also featured an additional piece, which would say before the cited sentence, “Are you listening?” wanting to garner the attention of the audience and giving then the news of Paul’s death. At the beginning of Revolution 9 (1968), the line “Number Nine” is repeated over and over, and if listened to backwards would sound “Turn me on, dead man” or “Turning on dead man.” these words repeat all throughout the song for almost 9 minutes. Years before, in “A Day in the Life” in Sgt. Pepper, Paul sang, “I love to turn you on.”
The biggest alleged clue in the song, though, comes later on; when the track is played in reverse, there is what appears to be an audio representation of a car crash. Starting around 4m 40s it is possible to hear the sound of a speeding car zooming past things with horns blazing. Then there’s the sound of a lorry sounding his horn and then the sound of heaven choir singing. After this we hear the bell chimes of a fire engine and then John saying “Turn me on, dead man. Turn me on.” Right after there is a crowd chatting and then an alleged starts screaming “Let me out! Let me out!” seemingly in increasing desperation. This would be the reconstruction of the accident.
In ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ (1967), at the end of the song there is an instrumental part over which somebody would seem to say “I buried Paul.” It was then claimed by The Beatles that they are saying “Cranberry sauce” instead. In the song Glass Onion (1968), off the White Album, John Lennon sings ominously “Well here’s another clue for your all: the walrus was Paul.” ‘I Am The Walrus’ (1967) is a song contained in the Magycal Mystery Tour album. The walrus is considered a symbol for death in some cultures. For instance, the walrus was a bad element of Viking hunters. If they saw a dead walrus at the start of their journeys they would turn back because of its negative symbolism.
In a documentary recorded by John Lennon in 1971 about the making of his solo album ‘Imagine,’ there is another possible clue. John Lennon and George Harrison have a conversation about The Beatles. When Lennon mentions “The Fab Four” Harrison corrects him saying “The Fab Three.” A certain ‘Beatle Bill’ is mentioned, although a fictional ‘Beatle Ed’ also comes into the discussion.
Paul McCartney denied on several occasions that anything concerning the theory is true.
Here, we just wanted to give a glimpse of, as a matter of fact, what is one of the most enduring theories about mysterious musicians’ death. No judgment or accusation toward any part is intended.